Countermeasure against the SPA attack on an embedded McEliece cryptosystem

Abstract : —In this paper, we present a novel countermeasure against a simple power analysis based side channel attack on a software implementation of the McEliece public key cryptosys-tem. First, we attack a straightforward C implementation of the Goppa codes based McEliece decryption running on an ARM Cortex-M3 microprocessor. Next, we demonstrate on a realistic example that using a " chosen ciphertext attack " method, it is possible to recover the complete secret permutation matrix. We show that this matrix can be completely recovered by an analysis of a dynamic power consumption of the microprocessor. Then, we estimate the brute-force attack complexity reduction depending on the knowledge of the permutation matrix. Finally, we propose an efficient software countermeasure having low computational complexity. Of course, we provide all the necessary details regarding the attack implementation and all the consequences of the proposed countermeasure especially in terms of power consumption.
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Martin Petrvalsky, Tania Richmond, Milos Drutarovsky, Pierre-Louis Cayrel, Viktor Fischer. Countermeasure against the SPA attack on an embedded McEliece cryptosystem. Microwave and Radio Electronics Week 2015, Apr 2015, Pardubice, Czech Republic. pp. 462-466, ⟨10.1109/RADIOELEK.2015.7129055⟩. ⟨ujm-01186632⟩

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